Fur, fur, and more fur.
If you are fortunate to have a Shiba Inu - then you unfortunately have to deal with quite a bit of fur.
But really - it's not the end of the world.
Shiba Inu shedding can be managed with a bit of effort and the right tools.
Shiba Inu Shedding - Golden Rules
Have the right tools for the job
Get to WORK during coat blowing season
Vacuum, clean, then vacuum more
Set up a "Shiba coat friendly" living environment
Nourish and hydrate
The Shiba Inu is a double-coated dog with a plush, soft 'undercoat' and a coarse, straight 'overcoat'.
Double-coated dogs, including Shiba Inus, typically shed heavily twice a year. This is when they famously "blow their coat" off.
The heavy shedding lasts for roughly three weeks.
During this time, it's important to get moving on controlling the fuzz unless you don't mind being dressed in "doge" couture.
Take heart though.
Blowing coat doesn't last forever. Once shedding ends, expect to enjoy fuzz-free meals for quite a while.
In the meantime, here are some tips:
Shiba Inu Shedding - Tip #1 - Have The 'Right Tools' For The Job
There are two aspects to managing Shiba Inu shedding - dealing with the fur still attached to your Shiba and dealing with the fur everywhere else.
To manage the fur still attached to your Shiba, you'll need a few things:
- Appropriate brushes / gloves / deshedding tools
- Good shampoo / conditioner
- Good diet / hydration / quality omega-3 supplements
To manage the fur found everywhere else, you'll need:
- A good vacuum (actually two would be better - one for quick pick ups, the other for heavy duty action)
- Basic cleaning supplies: broom, dustpan, sponges, rubber gloves
- Furniture / car covers to protect "especially important" seats
- Lint rollers / hair "magnets" for clothes, furniture, car upholstery
- Air purifier for those with dog allergies
Must Have Tool For Shiba Inu Fur - A Good Vacuum, or Two...
Shiba Inu Shedding - Tip #2 - Get To Work During Coat Blowing Time
Once you notice the start of your Shiba blowing coat, it's time to get proactive.
The more you take off now, the less to clean up later.
Start by increasing grooming frequency and be sure to use the right brushes for your Shiba's hair type. Brushing helps loosen undercoat as well as spread healthy oils through your Shiba's coat.
Most Shibas do well with slicker brushes. Deshedding tools work well also - but you need to know how to properly use them. If your Shiba Inu is long-haired, it's probably better to stick to slicker brushes.
Schedule an extra bath to help with excess hair. The warm water will nicely loosen the undercoat.
Plus, if you're going to have tufts of hair flying everywhere - at least it'll be clean hair. Remember to brush before AND AFTER the bath (after your Shiba is completely dry).
Serious shedding will occur after baths so this is a great time to whip out the heavy duty vacuum cleaner.
Get ready to do some extra cleaning.
Whether you have carpet or hard floors, you'll need to ramp up your vacuuming, sweeping, and dusting to keep the fur situation under control.
Shiba Inu Shedding - Tip #3 - Vacuuming, cleaning, and more vacuuming
The key to controlling fur in the house is really no secret.
It's simply about putting extra effort into cleaning - especially when your Shiba begins to "blow".
Although having a vacuum is not absolutely necessary - it will make "defurring" your home a heck of lot easier.
In fact, the more vacuums, the merrier.
I like to have one quality canister vacuum for heavy duty cleaning, one stick vac for quick pick ups, and one handheld vac for light touch ups.
The best time to bring out the heavy duty canister vacuum is a day after a bath.
Bathing loosens a lot of undercoat that will quickly find it's way throughout your home.
BONUS: If you've trained your Shiba to handle noise, see if you can train him / her to be vacuumed.
Shiba Inu Shedding - Tip #4 - Set up a "Shiba Coat Friendly Environment"
Sharing your home with a Shiba Inu or any dog always comes with a few give and takes.
Instead of furnishing your home with that black, full grain leather sofa you always dreamed of - you opt for the cream color P.U. sofa that's easy to dust off and clean.
You get the gist.
Here are some tips to cohabit nicely with your Shiba:
Opt for solid floors instead of wall-to-wall carpeting
Choose sofas / chairs that have smooth fabric over textured types
Same for drapery - look for smooth fabrics
Use furniture covers to protect furniture during shedding time or for continuous use
Keep your clothes and linens in closed closets to keep hair off
Leave fur cleaning tools like small vacuums and lint rollers in easily accessible areas
More cleaning tips:
Remove hair as soon as possible - especially on textured fabrics so that the hair doesn't get embedded.
Simply use a damp sponge or wear a rubber glove to quickly remove hair from upholstery
Squeegees work pretty well for getting fur off carpet
Swiffer wet mops are great for picking up fur off solid floors
Pumice stones or Furr Zoff work great for couches and car upholstery
Use washable dog towels or blankets over dogs bed for easy, frequent washing
Shiba Inu Shedding - Tip #5 - Nourish and Hydrate
Feeding your Shiba Inu well is an all-around good thing to do - whether your Shiba Inu is shedding or not.
While a good diet won't drastically reduce shedding, it'll give your Shiba Inu a healthier and nicer looking coat.
Same goes for proper hydration. Dogs that are not properly hydrated have drier skin that can lead to excess hair loss.
Supplementing your Shiba's meal with omega-3's is also helpful for coat health and shine. Plus, it may improve your Shiba Inu's overall health so there's really nothing to lose.
If you feed homemade / raw, our favorite supplement that is great for coat health is Dogzymes Ultimate from Natures Farmacy
While there's not much definitive evidence on the efficacy of most supplements - here's the ones we give our dogs and recommend anyway:
- Omega 3 wild fish oils
- Probiotics (some limited studies done)
- Turkey tail mushroom
Supplements We Trust and Recommend:
In a Nutshell....
Best Shiba Inu shedding advice? Be proactive, tackle it as soon as possible for less hair days ahead
Vacuums will be your best friend - choose wisely
Relax, it's not that bad (barring you don't suffer from allergies)
Wear your Shiba Inu fur proudly - it's fashion's "new black"
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